Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Yesterday, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord, a pact signed in 2015 by 195 countries rallying to combat global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Under President Obama, the US pledged to reduce its own emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, and give $3 billion to a climate fund benefiting poorer nations.
It’s the current president’s view that adhering to the agreement would result in sweeping industrial job losses, though economists and executives at companies like Apple and Unilever contend that investing in the renewable energy sector would, in fact, create jobs. Indeed, it didn’t take long for business leaders, politicians, and brands to start speaking out against Trump’s plan and reaffirm their commitment to the goals set out in the Paris agreement.
“We are deeply disappointed by the recent shift in climate policy,” Nike said in a statement. “We will continue to honor the core commitments of the American Business Act on Climate Change Pledge, including reaching 100% renewable energy in all Nike owned or operated facilities around the world by 2025, participating in the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge and advancing materials innovation globally.”
“Sustainability has always been part of our DNA: it’s integral to how we live and work and is essential to our environment. As a business leader concerned with creating American jobs, I disagree with the decision to exit the Paris Accord,” said Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.
“Amazon continues to support the Paris climate agreement and action on climate change,” Amazon tweeted. Vivienne Westwood, a longtime advocate of fighting climate change, tore into Trump’s environmental stance on British television.
It’s worth noting that the global apparel industry remains an undeniably resource-intensive system, though it’s difficult to quantify just how bad it is for the environment. Elsewhere in the business world, companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft have stated their opposition to Trump’s climate change stance. Michael Bloomberg, the businessman and former New York City mayor, has offered the United Nations as much as $15 million to make up for the climate change funding it could lose from Washington.
Despite the president’s plan to renegotiate US participation in the accord, leaders of Germany, France, and Italy say the agreement is irreversible.